Over 3 weeks out (how long can you leave them alone) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Over 3 weeks out (how long can you leave them alone)

Just came back from over 3 weeks vacation. During that time, 4 tanks and 1 pond were left on their own.

No fish were lost, and none looked any affected.

Plants look good, Ambulias have taken over my 36gal tank.

There are diatoms on the glass of the 10 and 100gal, usually I scrub them every week so they collected a little. The 36 doesn't have them for some reason, awesome clear there.

The 10gal was missing about an inch of water. The sponge filter in the 36gal was dirty, flow reduced.

The pond was another story... only about 10% of the water left, the pump running dry (not sure for how many days!), all in all a big mess, but amazingly, all fish (5 goldfish, 3 minnows, bunch of mosquito fishies) survived the treatment. Not sure why so much water was lost. Maybe 3 weeks of hot weather do that.

The biggest damage was to the lawn. It had grown until the sprinklers covered up, and there are some green islands around the sprinklers, and desert everywhere else.

All in all, I shouldn't have worried too much... flooding or a burned down house were on my mind, for no reason.


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 12:56 AM
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Did you leave your auto fill setup on the big tanks while you were gone? Glad to hear everything is OK. Now I wish I could find three weeks this time of year!





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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 02:48 AM
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WP what about feeding fish and dosing...you did none of that?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 02:58 AM
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I Would Have Had To Quit The Hobby!!!
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betowess
Did you leave your auto fill setup on the big tanks while you were gone? Glad to hear everything is OK. Now I wish I could find three weeks this time of year!
I turned off the water to the auto water changer to prevent any possibility of flooding. Just before leaving, I filled the tanks up really good, and with cover glasses, evaporation is almost nil (Maybe I should have put a glass cover over my pond ).


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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WP what about feeding fish and dosing...you did none of that?
There was no fish feeding during that time. That's really the point of my post -- you can leave your fishies quite a while without food. Those auto feeders and vacation food thingies do more harm than good IMO.

All my tanks are auto-dosed, and during the 3 weeks I reduced the concentration a little, to keep in balance with the reduced lighting schedule.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 04:03 PM
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I often argue against those weekend feeders in favor of just not feeding when you're gone for vacation. Fish will not starve in a well planted tank. It is good to see some evidence of this besides my personal experience! (Haha, you ninja posted me saying pretty much the same thing!!!)

Did you have a good time on vacation?


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jen, had a great time. Although 15 hours sitting in planes is not much fun.


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 04:09 PM
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I know what you mean! I visited Australia several years ago (spent 13 days there, 9 of which were on a boat doing dives) and the plane ride home was horrible. I left at 9:00 pm Australia time, flew to Guam, Honolulu, Texas, then Indiana and with layovers included it took me 24 hours to get home. Worst part was, when I got back it was bright and early in the morning and I had to stay up all day to prevent jet lag! After essentially 3 days awake I started to hallucinate a bit.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 06:21 PM
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And I've been worried about when I'll be gone for 10 days starting next week. This is somewhat of a relief to me. My tanks are established and I hope to lose zero fish. I'll be dropping the lighting period from 11 hours to 7 or 8 to help prevent evaporation and algae growth.

Leaving my tanks alone even for three days bothers me.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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You won't lose any fish due to lack of food.

Overfeeding, overheating, broken filters... are another story. Reducing the light period helps to keep temperatures lower than usual, slowing down metabolism both of fish and plants.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 10:15 PM
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Fish can go for 3 weeks without food? I have a goldfish, a guppy, and an oto. The oto gets his own food, but how long can the goldfish and guppy live off the plants without having me there to give them flakes?
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 11:48 PM
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Wasserpest that to me is amazing to hear! I lost a BUNCH of fish this past April when we took a family vacation to FL. I had an auto feeder on, but my tank was pretty unstable still so that could explain it.

I have an auto feeder. I got it for like $10 but had $10 off coupon so pretty much for free I use it just to be safe, but I'm also getting rid of all my fish that require feeding from me to be on the safe side since I'm not home a lot during the summer and go skiing a lot during the winter, and camping fall/spring/winter so I'm not home much on weekends so I am going to play it safe. Thats why I'm going to convert my tank to a shrimp tank. So I don't have to worry as much.

I have to say 3 weeks! That sounds pretty amazing to me. What fish you have in your tanks?

-Andrew

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 12:29 AM
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Fish Newb, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the auto feeder that killed the fish (sorry to say it). Those things tend to OD tanks on food no matter how carefully you set them. Do you use it when you're at home? Keep an eye on it and see just how much food it dumps and if it all gets eaten. My guess is that it polluted your water, killed one fish, and that dead fish decomposing fouled the water killing others.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with what Jen is suggesting here... 3 weeks isn't that bad if your fish are mature, stocking levels are low/normal, tank is densely planted. Keeping the temperature slightly lower helps too.

Even if your autofeeder is set perfectly, in a community tank you will end up with one or a few very fat fish, and the others go out empty-stomached.

I think they work well in a tank that is heavily stocked with immature fish of the same kind/size, where you need to feed often and the food is distributed evenly.

My fish are all mature... Pearl Gouramies clean up plants, Festivums have quite a bit of body volume/reserve, Yoyos manage to find things throughout the tank, African Butterflies don't move much and therefore need less food, and two WC minnows can probably sustain themselves in a 36gal tank full of cherry shrimp babies.


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